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Heineman's Winery and Crystal Cave

978 Catawba St.
Put-in-Bay  Ohio  43456
United States
(419) 285-2811
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Midwest Living Review

Jess Hoffert
This winery may be lackluster, but Crystal Cave sparkles.

The Bavarian-style exterior hints at Heineman's Winery's German roots. Owned by the same family since 1888, this small Put-in-Bay operation is the only winery in the area that tends vineyards on the actual island. Don’t expect a fancy wine-tasting experience here. Visitors sip from small plastic cups for $2 a pop, and pourers tend to prefer small talk over discussions about the products. The wines trend toward the sweeter side—Heineman’s best-selling Pink Catawba ($10) is a prime example with an almost saccharine taste. Dry wine connoisseurs aren't completely left out, though; the Cedar Woods Red ($12) boasts full-bodied flavors of black cherry and currant. If any of the wines strike your fancy, you can purchase a bottle to enjoy on the nicely landscaped patio out back.

This winery is worth a quick visit just to see Crystal Cave, a beautiful underground room enclosed by the world’s largest geode. Winery workers discovered it in the late 1800s when they were digging a well. Today, visitors can venture down some steep stairs to gaze at this small, otherworldly space. The sparkling crystals throughout range from 8 to 18 inches in length. 

Heineman’s Winery is open daily from mid-April through late October. Tours of the cave and winery ($7 for adults, $3 for children ages 6 to 11) are offered from early May through late September. 

Visited: 
June 11, 2013

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